GeekNights Wednesday - Adventure Time: Final Thoughts

nobody cares if you like anime or not, but maybe read the room and not be dismissive towards a medium that a large portion of the forum enjoys, or at the very least don’t complain about not being in on the lingo then responding aggressively to others filling you in

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How could you read all of the above and think that I’m trying to show off that I don’t like anime?

One selling point of Geeknights is “Anime Wednesdays” so…I don’t know why you are surprised that some episodes don’t appeal to you if you don’t like anime already. I thought one of the key jokes of this forum is that not everyone has listened to every episode and more people engage in the discussions if everything.

To anyone who hasn’t finished Adventure Time (I haven’t watched the last three seasons but I’ll be changing that) all of it is available on Hulu if you want a nice marathon.

This is the exact attitude we are trying to fight against. There is almost nothing I’m “not into.” Yes, I invest a lot more of my time into some things than others, that’s just because there is limited time in my life. But the nature of being an open minded and curious person who seeks joy and knowledge, I am totally into almost everything.

You’re right. There isn’t much connection between anime and programming a computer. Yeah, I can draw a lot of paralells and intersections, but that can be done with anything. The point is that there doesn’t have to be any connection beyond “here is a thing that brings joy to people, check it out.”

I don’t drink alcohol, but I’m totally into wine and beer making. I don’t care about juggling, and can’t even juggle three balls, but I’m still into your juggling vids and such. I cheer on SonicFox even though I’m not a furry and I don’t play fighting games basically at all. I don’t dismiss anyone’s hobby, and I’m totally interested in learning and hearing about it. And even though it probably won’t become my thing, I’ll probably try it at least one time, assuming there’s no other reason not to.

Maybe you should, watch an anime to maybe at least relieve yourself of the false notion that they are children’s cartoons. Can I interest you in a Ghost in the Shell, or an Akira, or a Cowboy Bebop, or anything directed by Satoshi Kon? Even studio Ghibli films are targeted at children, but are clearly FOR everyone.

Also those are a lot of great Thursday episode ideas. Gotta find someone who’s into birdwatching, trainspotting, etc.

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It’s more that I don’t pay attention to the day of recording, get past the inevitable bike stories, and then wonder why I’m having trouble parsing the content of the news. It’s not that I’m surprised that there have ever been episodes about anime, but I’m surprised each time I accidentally find myself listening to a five minute conversation about something I’ve heard of for 13 years, but have no actual first hand knowledge about.

Suggestion: stop saying “Japanese kids cartoons” as if that’s synonymous with anime. It ain’t. Projecting a tone of bafflement about why a thing could be interesting while clearly refusing to pay that thing more than the most cursory of glances makes the bafflement seem pretty disingenuous.

Yeah, I’ve seen those. But from the outside, it’s difficult to express how I feel about the conversation people have about without it seeming condescending. Watching movies I can identify with, and when I hear people talking about Akira or Ghost in the Shell or Studio Ghibli films, they approach them with the mindset of “movie watching”. It doesn’t matter if the movie is for adults or for children primarily, the conversation I hear about it holds up on an adult level.

And so when I say “Japanese kids cartoons” I’m NOT trying to say that is ALL anime is. But the kind of shows I hear talked about by people who are “anime fans” or “into anime” for the most part fall into this category, or seems to from someone from the outside.

I remember a conversation here on this forum a few years ago when I tried to explain why I’ve found the expression “underaged” really weird, when applied to characters in anime. It’s unsettling that the default term for “young girl character” depended on, if she were a real person and you had sex with her, whether you’d be charged with statutory rape.

This isn’t the kind of conversation I hear about animated movies from Japan, nor from England or France or any other country. But it IS the kind of conversations I hear about “Japanese kids cartoons”, and while not specifically on the podcast, then certainly here on the forum in the past.

I don’t want to say I’m not interested in any anime as defined by “animation from Japan”, but specifically “Japanese kids cartoons”. But the way these shows are talked about on the podcast, I’ve no idea if they are talking about a show for children or a show for teenagers or a show for adults or a show for maybe people into weird sex imagery?

For example, I heard all the great things about Kill La Kill, so googled it, and the first image that showed up was something like this:

And really, what am I supposed to think about that? That it’s the kind of show for me?

When conversations on the podcast go off in various directions, I don’t even know what kind of shows are being talked about. I don’t have this problem when people talk about anime movies, as the conversational framework is usually different.

So unless it’s an anime movie, there’s going to have to be some REALLY specific reasons for me to care, or very Luke-specific recommendations to encourage me to watch.

Kill la Kill is fantastic, but it’s probably not for you. You might like it if you gave it a shot! You would really have to open your mind, though. That show in particular is a really bad example to use because clothing and nudity are central themes of the plot. It’s a great show because it takes typically really bad tropes like “babe armor” and turns them on their head. It’s also equal opportunity nakedness between genders.

If you want to point out a perverted anime, just point out a perverted anime. There’s no shortage. I just googled for recent perverted anime and I found one called Yuragi-sou no Yuuna-san. Here’s a screengrab. This is obviously just an awful show and we would never watch it, or talk about it, or recommend it to anyone.

“Anime fans who are into anime” are by and large NOT watching this kind of thing. The people who are watching it are the same people who are playing video games alone at home and throwing racial slurs at their opponents. Those people aren’t going to make me write off video games, and they’re not going to make me write off anime either.

“Anime fans who are into anime” are watching things like One Punch Man which is a masterpiece. Here’s the trailer for the new season.

I may not be one of the more qualified people to speak about anime, but for my money, the best “anime that doesn’t feel like an anime” is Monster. I really liked it, and that’s what I recommend to people who aren’t anime fans because it has far fewer of the anime tropes that might turn people off to it.

Like, I found that while watching Trigun and Cowboy Bebop, the slapstick comedy and superdeformed (is that the term?) faces that you’d get from the insurance agents and from Ed really detracted from the serious subject matter of the show. I have no problem with comedy in a serious show, but that kind of comedy really stuck out to me as just so stereotypically ‘anime’ and out-of-place for the tone that it takes me out of the show, and is in my mind a part of why anime can get a bad rap sometimes. Another anime comedy trope that seems to come up a lot is that a joke or pun will happen, and a character will mumble a sentence or two to themselves explaining the joke. Do anime fans enjoy these things? Or do they just not notice them anymore? Or are they disliked but accepted as a necessary part of anime that isn’t going away?

I tried One Punch Man on Netflix but it only had a German dub. If it’s ever easily available subtitles in English I’ll give it another go I’m sure.

I watched the first episode of Sherlock, made by the BBC a few years ago. One important fact about Sherlock was that he was so intelligent, and knew London so well, that he could catch up with a suspect going a different route in different streets, just knowing the timing of the traffic lights. Good moment in a solid show.

Then in the following episode, one of the major clues in the case revolves around a book, and pages and words in the book. It took Sherlock the entire episode to work out it was a street atlas. The mismatch between the supposed mind of Sherlock between the two episodes really damaged my enjoyment of the show. I think Juliane and I made it two more episodes before giving up.

Weird that I tell that story here, but the same thing happened to me with Cowboy Bebop, a show recommended so highly that Rym gave me a DVD in person to check it out. In the second episode, there is a super valuable dog that is being tracked by mafia or whatever, and they take it for a walk. But they don’t put the leash around their wrist, only hold it in their hand. The dog just runs off. The whole drama could have been avoided by just holding on to the leash in a way you would with any dog, let alone one so valuable.

So I got one more episode in and called it a day.

It’s not that I’m not into anime shows specifically, it’s just that I’ve got a high standard for any long running tv show, and I’ll bounce off it early if I don’t think it’s going to be worth my time.

Unfortunately Cowboy Bebop was the highest rated show and the one most highly and personally recommended to me, and the only way I could imagine sticking with it was to turn off my brain.

I grew up in a home with no TV. I have no connection to animated kids TV shows from any country. I have very limited nostalgia to tap into to get me hooked on these things.

Can you not get through an episode of Road Runner because the Road Runner goes right through a tunnel that was just a painting? If you’re going to be that guy, then you’re going to have a hard time with any stories told through the medium of animation.

I’m not sure anyone enjoys stereotypes/ tropes, unless its attempting to pander to a small demo. Or unless the trope is being broken and the writers are attempting to embrace a wider audience.

Tropes are like crutches in story telling. There’s an amount of risk involved when trying to portray something new an original. There’s no certainty in how the audience will react, and how that reaction effects the perceptions of others.

If you were to draw a graph, older books, movies, shows have a high level of tropes. With more recent media containing considerably less.

Not sure there’s an objective way to actually measure this though. However some tropes exist now, purely to be turned on their heads.

In the same way how the premise of most remakes are just take a well known character, and add some context to put a spin on their motives to feign complexity.

Yeah Maleficent poisoned snowhite, but she had her reasons…

Go watch all of Lindsay Ellis’s video essays on Youtube.

Definitely not necessary. They are definitely going away. Diversity has a strong part to play in how fast that happens.

ATLA and The Dragon Prince probably aren’t considered anime because of who made them and where they’re made. When you think of anime as a genre, you already have an expectation of what that looks and sounds like. Saying that, anime has a tradition of taking strong left turns and breaking expectations.

Wrong Disney princess.

How did you read my entire post, where I talk about story problems in both a live action TV show and an animation, to make the specific point that me bouncing off a TV show has NOTHING to do with it being animation, and then conclude that I’m “that guy” because I find animation unrealistic?

Are you willfully ignoring my main point?

baha, oh yeh. Same diff.

Animation or not, you’re “that guy” if you are constantly watching for things like “why didn’t the characters just do X?” and not able to continue if something is unexplained or doesn’t make perfect sense. Realism is only one style of art. Do you say “I can’t look at this anymore. Nobody has an eyeball that low on their face!” when you see a Picasso? Do you say “Clocks don’t melt?” when you see a Dali?

Animation, and especially anime, is almost never realistic. It requires the viewer to turn their brain on, not off, to understand what the work is trying to convey and what it means because it rarely presents a direct cohesive or realistic narrative. Almost all of the best anime are abstract, surreal, and trippy as all fuck. They hardly ever explain themselves, and what they do explain is with imagery alone. Think of 2001: A Space Odyssey. The end of that movie, that’s what a LOT of anime is like.

This is a scene from the 2006 masterpiece, Paprika.

Here is part of an episode of Adventure Time, an actual american children’s TV show on Cartoon Network, and the topic of this thread/episode!

These aren’t weird exceptions. If you thought not putting a dog on a leash in an episode of Cowboy Bebop was bad wait until you get to episodes like “Mushroom Samba”, which is indeed about hallucinogenic shrooms. How will you react to the episode “Toys in the Attic” that is an homage to “Alien” where a fungus from moldy food in the fridge comes alive and kills all the characters? In the very next episode everything is back to normal and it is never explained.

Neon Genesis Evangelion, the anime to end all anime, is going to be on Netflix soon. It is one of the greatest animated works of all time, but I get the feeling you won’t be able to get past episode 1.

Again, you are misrepresenting my point or just jot getting it. My point wasn’t that I don’t like animation because it’s not realistic, but that sometimes something pops up that bugs me about a show, and I decide that it’s indicative of a storytelling failure, and that the show isn’t going to be for me.

Again, you bring up example from animations as if that proves a point against me, and yet I framed my example by using a live action show to illustrate that it wasn’t issues with the animation of Cowboy Bebop that turned my off, but a failure of storytelling.

I’m not constantly watching out for unrealistic things in TV shows to complain about or use an example as to why I stopped watching, I used these two specific examples for these to specific shows to illustrate that no matter what the consensus about the shows are, or how popular they are, or anything else about them, sometimes they don’t click with me. That’s it.

But again, from the outside, you are discussing anime as though it is a thing worth evangelizing about. And from the outside, I just don’t see it. If a show is good, I’ll watch it on its own merits. Not because it is Japanese, or French, or American or anything.

I’m not going to watch a show because it is the greatest example of anime, but if it is the greatest example of TV. That’s where I’m at. I’ve watched (i think) three seasons of Adventure Time, and think it’s great, and will probably watch the rest. It clicked with me in a way that Cowboy Bebop didn’t. I think it’s all-time-great animation, and there wasn’t anything about the first few episodes that made me think it wasn’t worth my time.

The only connection I have to anime is that it happens to be one of five or six interests of the guys on one of my favorite podcasts. That’s it. There is zero other relevant crossover in my life that makes me think anime is worth any more of my time than any other kind of animation or tv/movie entertainment.

And yet I STILL find myself listening in to maybe an hour conversation about it ever week or so. That’s the mild/almost irrelevant quirk of my life that I thought worth sharing here. Sorry if you can’t handle that tiny observation without getting so defensive.

Yes, not being able to just get over stuff like that in a story is not a good thing. You have to be able to let it go. You know what it looks like when you can’t let something like that go? It looks like this:

The thing that anime has that is worth evangelizing about is not the fact that it is Japanese. It could come from another country and still be worth evangelizing. There are many art forms that are specific to a culture. If mariachi music came from… South Africa instead it would still be great music.

It’s simply that anime and manga extremely good. Japan has created a machine that produces a large quantity of very high quality comics and animation. They tell stories in manga and anime unlike those told by anyone anywhere else at any time in history. Doing a podcast about anime is basically the same as doing a podcast about French wine. Yeah, other countries make wine, but then there’s French wine. You may only care about good wine from anywhere or good animation from anywhere. Well, we do talk about animation from everywhere, but most of the best stuff comes from Japan these days.

The thing is, I have let it go. I let it go… and just stopped watching. I’m not that guy. I’m not going to fan events or questioning the makers of the show as to why they made a mistake. It’s a slight niggle about a thing which pushes me over the line between not being into a show and continuing to watch it, and just thinking “you know what? this show isn’t for me”. And that’s it.

I now regret trying to use it as an example.

That’s not letting it go. Letting it go is accepting it and not letting it bother you that the person writing the story didn’t meticulously account for every conceivable possibility in the universe.

And letting it go is only the first step. What you really want is to not have even noticed that kind of inconsequential thing in the first place.